discounts

5 Smart Ways to Score Freebies

Written on July 8, 2014 at 11:01 am , by

By Anna Davies

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but by being creative, you can turn up plenty of ways to get a meal (and gym membership, theater tickets or groceries) without opening your wallet. “Not only have people become more savvy about finding bargains, but businesses have realized the value of their relationships with their customers, who can act like an informal marketing department,” explains Clare Levison, author of Frugal Isn’t Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better. Try these real reader strategies to score—and save—big.

“Like” a Great Service

Following a business you love on Facebook or Twitter can be an excellent way to get insider info on special sales. But for even more deals, ask the company how you can help. Gina Lincicum, 41, a mom of three in Washington, DC, became a mystery shopper for a local restaurant chain. “I earn a free meal, plus $10 or so for filling out a questionnaire about my experience that usually takes 10 minutes to complete. I keep track of my mileage to and from the restaurant for my taxes, so I get a little money back that way too.”

Swap Skills

Think beyond trading carpooling for babysitting duties:  Bartering can also be  used to score major discounts on dental appointments, music lessons and other small-business services. Hope Hunt, 39, from Williamsburg, Virginia, saves $674 a month on tae kwon do and gymnastics lessons for her four children. “I work in technology, so I offer website design, blog setup and networking support in exchange for lessons,” Hunt explains. Not sure what you can offer? Look around and see what’s not available.

Volunteer

Tickets to museums, aquariums and theater performances can be scored for nada by giving your time, explains Laura Wallis, a mother of two and creator of the money-saving site Momsgonnafindout.com. “Check local attractions,” she suggests. “Usually nonprofits will be happy for an extra pair of hands.” Often you’ll have to attend a training session and make a specific time commitment, so this is a great strategy if you’re truly passionate about an organization. Bonus: If your teen has a volunteer-hour quota at school, joining you helps her while giving you two a chance to hang out.

Join a Focus Group

Offering your opinions on brands can be valuable if you’re savvy about sifting through opportunities, explains Wallis. “Some pay people in product, but others offer $20 to $150 an hour for your time.” Sign up at paidfocusgroup.net. Once you’re approved, you may be inundated with responses, so create a secondary email address and alternate phone number (such as a free Google Voice number that directs to voice mail). “Some focus groups are conducted via email or telephone, so you may not need to live in the area to participate,” says Wallis.

Complain the Right Way

It’s tempting to fire off an angry email—or unleash a few all-caps Tweets—when you’re confronted with subpar service. But taking a few deep breaths before eloquently explaining why you were disappointed helps you and the company in the long run, says Adi Bittan, CEO of OwnerListens, which offers an app that lets customers send private, anonymous feedback to business owners. “When consumers are legitimately dissatisfied, they will frequently get money back, gift certificates, samples or replacement products.” However, Bittan cautions that vague complaints aren’t likely to go far—even if you have a large following on social media. “Companies want to make things right, but they’re also wise about people using their social networking platform only for freebies,” Bittan says. “They can easily tell, based on a person’s social media history, when someone is making up a problem in order to save money.”

 

Explore These Savings

Written on June 6, 2014 at 10:28 am , by

Warm weather and the end of school are the perfect motivation for quality family time outside. Score deals in honor of National Great Outdoors Month.

• Get outfitted in sturdy athletic shoes, 60% OFF at Amazon, before heading out on a hike.

• Stock up with 15% OFF recreation gear, clothing, tents and more at outdoors megastore REI using code RTVGP.

• Avoid sunburn with $1 OFF Coppertone Sunscreen.

• Allergy season is in high gear—stay healthy with a FREE Sample of Zarbee’s All Natural Seasonal Relief.

• Sleep under the stars in Target Sleeping Bags at a 10% discount.

• Things can get messy in nature—save $1 OFF Two Purell products.

• “Like” Nexcare’s Facebook page and you’ll receive a FREE Sample of Bandages, handy for outdoor cuts and scrapes.

• Keep fleas, ticks and mosquitoes at bay with a range of products available for 15% OFF at PetSmart.

Mother’s Day Savings

Written on May 9, 2014 at 12:19 pm , by

 

We’re celebrating 100 years of moms! President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation declaring Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1914. Say thanks for everything she does—or drop hints on last-minute gift ideas—with great online deals.

• $10 off at FTD Flowers

• 20% off at ProFlowers
*Use code GRAND20 at checkout.

• 20% off at Shari’s Berries
*Use code GRAND20 at checkout.

• Up to 50% off at Shutterfly

• 20% off select items at Amazon

• Free shipping at Things Remembered
*MUST order by 4 p.m. EST today 5/9.

• $10 off $50 or $25 off $100 at JCPenney
*Use code LOVEMOM.

Mixed Bag of Savings

Written on April 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm , by

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best deals on the Web! We love a bargain as much as the next person, so check back every Friday for our favorite family-friendly discounts.

 

From swimwear markdowns to a National Pretzel Day giveaway, there’s something for everyone in this week’s roundup of free stuff and discounts.

 

• With the summer months fast approaching, don’t miss the chance to get 15% off swimwear and cover-ups at Target.

• What a way to welcome May! Carvel will be giving out free junior cones from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the first of the month.

• It’s worth a try! Sign up for a free sample of Calvin Klein’s Beauty fragrance.

• Satisfy your office supply needs with a variety of Staples coupons. Act fast—they expire tomorrow.

• April 26 is National Pretzel Day! Stop by the nearest Pretzelmaker tomorrow for your free soft pretzel—salted or unsalted.

• Try a free 30-day trial of Daily Burn, complete with workout videos and a built-in support system.

• Who’s up for brunch? You have until Sunday to save 20% on Build Your Own French Toast at Denny’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Bargains

Written on April 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm , by

Get reading—it’s National Library Week! Download an array of FREE reads. Check out our list of e-books below.

 

 

Classic eBooks at Open Library

eBooks at Project Gutenberg

Easter Recipes for the Slow Cooker eCookbook

“JIFFY” Recipe Book

Flower Craft Ideas eBook

Australian Lamb Recipe Book

Gardener’s Idea Book

Gooseberry Patch Fall Favorites Recipe Booklet

 

Tax Day Savings

Written on April 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm , by

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best deals on the Web! We love a bargain as much as the next person, so check back every Friday for our favorite family-friendly discounts.

 

 

 

Finally, an upside to Tax Day—reward yourself for filing with any of these 10 awesome food steals. Thanks, Uncle Sam!

Boston Market: $10.40 for Two Half-Chicken Individual Meals with Two Sides and Cornbread

Arby’s: FREE Value Sized Curly Fries or Small Potato Cakes

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt: $4.15 for Unlimited Froyo and Toppings in One Cup

Schlotzsky’s Bakery Cafe: FREE The Original Small Sandwich with Purchase of 32 oz Fountain Drink and Chips

Sonny’s BBQ: Half-Price Rib Platter (Irresistible Ribs Special)

Great American Cookies: FREE Original Chocolate Chip Cookie

Sonic Drive-Ins: Half-Price Drinks and Slushes

California Tortilla: FREE Chips and Queso with Any Entrée Purchase
*When you say “Taxes Shmaxes”

Bruegger’s Bagels: $10.40 for a Big Bagel Bundle (Baker’s Dozen and 2 Tubs of Cream Cheese)
*Available April 12-15

Hard Rock Cafe: FREE Dinner Entrée from Select Items
*One small caveat…You’ll have to get on the live music stage and “Sing for Your Supper!”

Beauty Bargains

Written on April 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm , by

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best deals on the Web! We love a bargain as much as the next person, so check back every Friday for our favorite family-friendly discounts.

April is Stress Awareness Month. And we can’t think of a better way to stay serene than with a little pampering. Let these beauty freebies be your stress cure-all.

 

• Stop by an Origins store for a FREE Mini Facial that’ll include a one-on-one consultation.

• Sign up at Gucciparfums.com for a FREE sample of Gucci Guilty Fragrance.

• Aveda products offer tons of natural benefits. Try a FREE 3-Step System Sample Pack, which includes exfoliating shampoo, thickening conditioner and scalp revitalizer.

• Get a FREE Sample of Suave Professionals Natural Infusion when you register online.

• Try out a FREE sample of Ice Elements 2-Minute Miracle Gel, a deep-cleansing skin treatment.

 

March Madness

Written on March 28, 2014 at 1:30 pm , by

 Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best deals on the Web! We love a bargain as much as the next person, so check back every Friday for our favorite family-friendly discounts.

Regardless of whether your team’s been ousted from the tournament, get in on the action with these 3-point discounts. You’ll score nothing but net in savings.

• Grab college Hooded Sweatshirts for everyone in the family—they’re only $9.99 instead of $40.

• Complete your school spirit look with a team iPhone Case, on sale for $11.99, marked down from $29.99.

• Get ready to be the official game-watch house. After you place an order for $15 or more at Papa John’s, you’ll receive 25 bonus Papa Rewards points the next day, valid for a FREE Large Pizza with Three Toppings.

• Round the gang up for Buy 10 Get 10 Wings at Hooters.

• Keep your eyes on all the action with multiple TVs and $5 Off Two Dinner Entrees at Outback Steakhouse.

• You may have a new vested interest in who wins the big game on April 7. If a team with a “winged” mascot wins, Pizza Hut will be giving out a FREE Four-Count Sample of WingStreet Wings. If not, you can still enjoy a limited-time deal of Eight Wings for $5.